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How Often Can I File For Bankruptcy? Can A Person File Bankruptcy More Than Once?

Medical bills, job loss, unexpected expenses – believe me when I say that I understand. Things happen. It is because of these things that some debtors find themselves in my office on more than one occasion, for more than one bankruptcy. This is where today’s blog topic comes into play:

How often can you file for bankrupty protection?

To answer this question, I first have to make a subtle but important point. What you really are wondering is how often you can successfully file for bankruptcy – i.e. receive a discharge. This is important because the time-frame restrictions only apply to those that have successfully received a discharge (versus a dismissal). In addition, even if you have received a previous discharge in the recent past, you technically still can file for bankruptcy protection. However, I promise your case won’t get far.

Now that we have gotten that point out of the way, it is important to understand that the frequency with which you can receive a bankruptcy discharge depends on which chapter you previously filed under, and which chapter you hope to file under currently.

In order to show off my nifty Photoshop skills, and prevent death-by-information-overload, I have created the following chart to summarize how often a debtor can file for bankruptcy protection:

An important point to remember is that time is measured from the date the previous case is filed and not for the date the prior discharge is entered. I would hate to be the poor guy that learned this the hard way.

Those on their game may have recognized the implications this has for those filing successive chapter 13 bankruptcy. Practically speaking, you can continue to file chapter 13 bankruptcy to your heart’s content. See, a chapter 13 bankruptcy takes a minimum of 3 years to complete. This means that you have automatically met the required waiting period simply by sticking it out through the duration of your plan.

If you are currently curious as to your eligibility to file for bankruptcy protection, contact the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Ariano & Reppucci, PLLC. Our bankruptcy lawyers offer free consultations for chapter 7 and chapter 13 debtors in Arizona. Come visit out Phoenix, Tucson or Casa Grande bankruptcy law office today!

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